Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

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Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

 

Thoughts and observations from watching and reading a transcript of Alex Thomson of Channel 4’s Interview with Stewart Regan (CEO of the SFA) Broadcast by Channel 4 on 29 March 2012.

http://www.channel4.com/news/we-run-football-were-not-the-police-sfa-boss

Introduction. I came across the above interview recently and listened to and transcribed it again as it reminded me of questions it raised then that the passage of time since has provided some insight into.

There is a lot to digest so the blog is broken into four sections.  Three parts cover the Interview plus what they seem to tell us now, knowing what was not known then viz:

  • Why No independent or independent element to the enquiry that became the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission. given the potential extent of the corruption at play?
  • Why no effective fit and Proper Person scrutiny and the absence of real governance?
  • EBTS and whether they constitute wrong doing and why that mattered so much and still does. plus
  • The “hard to not to believe” conclusions about the whole exercise with the benefit of what we ken noo.

There is also an Annex at the end with excerpts from the Lord Nimmo Smith Decision for ease of reference:

The comments (in bold italics) are based on what Regan said then and what we ken noo, either as facts or questions arising from them. It is a long read but hopefully readers will be enticed by this introduction to stay the course.

In the following “SR” is Stewart Regan CEO of the SFA and “AT” is Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News.

No Independent Enquiry?

SR No

AT I’m just curious as to why they wouldn’t. With something as big as this potentially this is the biggest corruption scandal in British sport, which is – a thought – and yet the SPL deem themselves fit to investigate themselves.

SR Well I think you are calling it potentially the biggest corruption case, at this stage there has been no wrongdoing proven.  There is an investigation going on

AT But you would accept that potentially, potentially that if guilty there is no question this is the biggest corruption scandal in British sport.

SR There is no wrongdoing as I said at the moment and there is nothing yet that has been established as far as the club registering players without providing the appropriate documentation, so I think it would   be wrong to jump to conclusions and even use words like corruption. You know there are a series of issues here. There are some footballing matters which are being dealt through the football authorities and there are tax mattes which are being dealt with through HMRC and there is to be a Tax Tribunal due to be heard as I’m sure you are aware in April.

So even before the investigation got underway Mr Regan was saying that it would be incorrect to assume that any wrong doing took place in terms of the registration process and use of ebts. He later expands on this point in relation to EBTs as a legitimate tax arrangement device. Given that the FTT did not rule until November 2012 that the ebts issued under the Murray Management Group Remuneration Trust (MMGRT) were legal then this stance by Mr Regan appears justifiable at the time of interview – but more on that later. 

AT I’m just wondering why at no stage anybody seemed, or perhaps they did, to think we need an independent body coming in this is big this is huge, potentially  we need somebody from the outside  or we are going simply going to be accused of investigating ourselves.

SR Well I think that might be one for you to ask the Scottish Premier League as far as their Board..

AT Well they appeal to you so I’m asking you.

SR   No as you said we are the right of appeal so if the club is concerned with any punishment it has been given well then they can choose to appeal to us. We as a body have the provision in our rules to carry out independent enquiries, indeed we did so very recently by appointing the Right Honourable Lord Nimmo Smith to carry out our own investigation into Rangers and we are part way through disciplinary proceedings and they will be heard on 29 March.

Given that player registrations are ultimately lodged with the SFA where Sandy Bryson has been doing the job for some years, I did wonder why the SFA were not the body taking the lead. They had the expertise on what turned out to be a key issue, the eligibility of players if misregistration occurred.  Indeed Sandy Bryson was called in to give a testimony to Lord Nimmo Smith that most folk involved in running a football team from amateur level upwards (as I was) had difficulty accepting. The Bryson interpretation suggested us amateurs had been daft not to take the risk of being found out if we did not register players correctly if only games from the point of discovery risked having results overturned. The Bryson interpretation on eligibility made no sense against that experience and it still does not to football lovers. I’m not sure if the rules have been amended to reflect the Bryson interpretation yet, but cannot see how they can be without removing a major deterrent that I always thought proper registration was there to provide.

The point about their having to be a body of higher appeal sounded plausible then, but could the Court of Arbitration on Sport not have been that body?  Or did that risk taking matters out of the SFA’s control even though it would have introduced an element of the independence that Alex Thomson raises in the following paragraphs in his interview?

AT But did anybody at any stage at the SFA say to you I have a concern that we need an independent body, that the SPL can’t and shouldn’t handle this?

SR Well under the governance of football the SPL run the competition

AT I’m not asking, I’m saying did anybody come to you at any stage and say that to you. Anybody?

SR No they didn’t as far as the SPL’s processes is concerned. The SPL ,

AT Never?

It is notable here that Alex Thomson pushes the point about lack of independence, which is where we enter “wit we ken noo territory”.  

Given that it is now known that SFA President Campbell Ogilvie sat on the Rangers FC Remunerations Policy Committee in September 1999 where it was decided Discount Option Scheme (DOS) ebts would be used as a matter of club remuneration policy using the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust (REBT).

Given that we know that Campbell Ogilvie instigated the first ebt payment to Craig Moore using the Discount Options Scheme.

Given that Ronald De Boer and Tor Andre Flo had both been paid using the same type of DOS ebt as Moore from 2000 to 2002/03 but accompanied by side letters, later concealed from HMRC  in 2005 and of course the SFA from August 2000.

Given that Mr Ogilvie was also in receipt of the later MMGRT ebts disputed by HMRC in the big tax case on which the FTT had still to rule

Given that Mr Regan must have been aware at time of interview that Sherriff Officers had called at Ibrox in August 2011 to collect payment of a tax bill, which means even to a layman that it must have gone past dispute to acceptance of liability and so crystallised sometime after 31st March 2011.

Given that Craig Whyte had already agreed to pay the wee tax bill in his public Takeover statement in early June 2011.

Given that on 7th December 2011 Regan had written to Andrew Dickson at RFC, who had sat on three of the four SFA/UEFA Licensing Committee meetings in 2011, to approve a draft statement by Mr Regan on the SFA’s handling of the UEFA Licence aspect of the wee tax case, which arose as a direct result of the use of the DOS ebts to Flo and De Boer during Dickson’s ongoing tenure at RFC from 1991.

Given that Campbell Ogilvie accompanied Stewart Regan to meet Craig Whyte at the Hotel De Vin on 15th December 2011 as a result of an invite stemming from that consternation causing draft that RFC thought likely to cause problems for the SFA (having agreed before the hotel meeting that no comment should be made on the wee tax case)

Given that the wee tax case was a direct result of those early types of DOS ebts being judged illegal by an FTT considering an appeal by the Aberdeen Asset Management company in 2010.

Given all of these facts, how credible is it that no conversation took place between Regan and Campbell Ogilvie on the requirement for an independent enquiry?

If a conversation did not take place as claimed, the question has to be should it have?

Given the foregoing facts on the early ebts, how credible is it Mr Regan during this interview did not know as a result of his involvement with the overdue payable and the UEFA licence in 2011 of the illegal and therefore wrong doing nature of those early EBTS with side letters concealed from the SFA and HMRC in 2005 just before Mr Ogilvie left RFC?

SR The SPL run, the SPL run the rules of The Scottish Premier League and they apply that. There are a whole host of people raising issues on internet sites and passing comment s about various theories that they have about Scottish football particularly in the West of Scotland. I think it’s important to establish that governance of Scottish football is managed by the appropriate body whether it is the Premier League, The Football League or the overall governing body. So that as far as we are concerned we let the   Scottish Premier league manage their own rules and if those rules are then broken and the club is charged they have the right of appeal to us as the Appellant body.

Given all of the now known facts listed above how credible is it that the reason given by Stewart Regan to Alex Thomson for the SFA being the appeal body was indeed the only one?

Given the foregoing how credible is it that Mr Regan was not aware that he was being economical with the truth during his interview or had he indeed been kept in the dark by others in the SFA?

Fit and Proper Person and Absence of Governance

AT Let’s talk about Craig Whyte. Ehm   – Presumably when Craig Whyte was mooted as coming in as the new owner – for the grand sum of £1 – for Rangers Football club, presumably the SFA took a keen interest in this and did some kind of due diligence on this man.

SR Well we have under our articles, Article 10.2, we have a process which sets out a number of criteria for what defines a fit and proper person within football. Now as you know we cannot stop people getting involved with a business and we cannot stop people getting involved with a PLC, all we can stop them doing is having an involvement with football, so what we do as part of that process is we ask for a declaration from the Directors of the club that they have a copy of the Articles,, that they have gone through the conditions and criteria within Article 10.2 and they have confirmed to us that they meet those criteria. If subsequently those criteria are breached then of course we take appropriate action.

AT You keep quoting rules back to me that’s not what I’m asking, I’m asking is did the SFA conduct any due diligence on this individual.

SR No we asked for a self-declaration from the Directors of the club and the individual himself.

AT Forgive me that sounds absolutely incredible this is the biggest club in Scotland which has been brought to its knees by a whole range of fiscal mismanagement, it is all on the record and proven. A new man comes in claiming all kinds of things, just like the previous man, and the SFA did not check or do any due diligence whatsoever.

SR That is part of the process of governing football, we

AT That’s, that’s NOT governing football that’s the exact opposite to governing football that’s running away from governing football.

SR No if you let me, if you let me finish my answer the point I am about to make is we govern the entire game from the top of the game down to grass roots. We have changes of Directors we have changes of ownership throughout the course of the year. I’m sure that if we were to spend football’s well earned money on doing investigations into potentially every change of Director, then there would be a lot of unhappy Chairmen out there.

AT You could have easily have googled (?) for free

SR Well we rely on the clubs telling us that the Articles have been complied with and that is the process we undertake.

AT This is extraordinary I say to you again  you have years of fiscal mismanagement at Rangers Football Club, a new man comes in you are telling me that nobody at The SFA as much as got on to Google  to get any background information nobody did anything ? That is extraordinary.

SR Well you refer to alleged years of financial mismanagement. I think it’s important to separate out the previous regime at Rangers and the new owner.

AT Rangers were a mess financially everybody new that

SR But I think it’s important in the case of the point you are raising regarding the fit and proper person test, to separate out the previous regime from the new owner. The club was in the process of being sold, they were challenging a tax bill that had been challenged by HMRC,* and the club had been sold to a new owner. That new owner had come in, he had purchased the club, the paper work for that sale had gone through and the club had complied with our Articles of Association. We run football we don’t, we are not the police we don’t govern transactions, we don’t govern fitness, we run football and we had asked the club to declare whether or not that person was fit to hold a place in association football. They had gone through the articles they’d signed to say that they had read those articles and that there had been no breaches of any of the points set out there. That included whether a Director had been disqualified. That wasn’t disclosed to us, indeed it did not come out until the BBC did their investigation back in October of last year.

(* note that in spite of all the “givens” listed earlier,  Mr Regan fails to distinguish (or appreciate) that there is more than one tax bill at play and the one for the wee tax case was not under challenge or Sherriff Officers would not have called in August 2011 to collect it.)

 AT So the BBC did due diligence on fitness (??) not the SFA?

SR No, as I said it came out in October 2010 primarily as a result of a detailed investigation. We then have to respond to potential breaches of our articles and we did that We entered into dialogue with the solicitor who was acting for Mr Whyte and we were in dialogue until February 2011 (?sic)  of this year when the club entered administration.

AT What I’m simply asking you to admit here is that the SFA failed and it failed Rangers in its hour of need over Craig Whyte and it failed Scottish football.

SR We didn’t fail.

AT You didn’t do anything, you said you didn’t do anything.

SR We complied with the current processes within our articles. That said I think there are a number of learnings and I think the same goes for football right across the globe. People are coming into football into a multimillion pound business and I think football needs to take a harder look at what could be done differently. We are currently exploring the possibility of carrying out due diligence using the outgoing regime to make sure that there is a full and rigorous research being done before the transaction is allowed to go ahead.

AT Do you feel the need to apologise to Rangers fans?

SR I don’t need to apologise because we complied with our articles. I don’t feel there is a need to apologise whatsoever. I think….

AT You need some new articles then don’t you?

SR Well I think the articles

AT Well let’s unpack this. You said there is no need to apologise because we followed the rule books so that’s all right. So you must therefore admit you need a new rule book.

SR No well I think it’s easy at times to try and look around and find a scapegoat and try and point fingers at where blame is to be apportioned. I think perhaps it might be worth looking at the previous regime who for four years when they said they were selling the club, said that they would sell it and act in the best interests of the club. With that in mind I think the previous regime also have to take some responsibility for selling that club and looking after so called shareholders of Rangers football club and those people who that have put money into the club over the years.

AT ??  (Interrupted)

SR the Scottish FA, as I said have a process, that process has been place for some time. It has worked very very well until now I think there are learnings undoubtably and as I said we will review where we can tighten up as I know is happening across the game right now.

The above segment on Craig Whyte and Fit and Proper  Persons is a timely reminder to supporters of all clubs, but particularly of Rangers FC of what happens when those charged with governing Scottish football hide behind the letter of the rules when convenient, rather than apply the true spirit in which those rules were written. It is the approach of The Pharisees to make a wrong , right.

To be fair to the SFA though, I doubt anyone could have imagined the degree of deceit and deception that they had allowed into Scottish football in May 2011 and how useless their rules were as a result, but I am not aware to this day if the SFA have apologised to Scottish football generally and Rangers supporters in particular, not only for failing to protect them from Craig Whyte, but also failing to protect them from the consequences of the foolish financial excesses of Sir David Murray, especially from 2008 when the tax bills in respect of the MMGRT ebts began to arrive at RFC . Some intervention then, assuming something was known by some at the SFA, who also held positions at Rangers, of  those  huge tax demands,  might have cost Rangers three titles from 2009, but what Ranger’s supporter would not give all of that up to protect their club from the fate that the failure of the SFA to govern has caused?

Also to be fair the SFA have changed the rules so that the outgoing regime is responsible for doing due diligence on any new club owners rather than relying on self-certification by the incoming club owner, but we know that did not work particularly well when Rangers Chairman Alistair Johnstone did due diligence on Craig Whyte , but then again Sir David Murray  was under pressure to sell and the guy coming in, everyone was told, had wealth off the radar.

The Nature of EBTS.

AT Let’s look at EBTs. Did nobody question ebts in the Scottish game in the English game come to that simply because nobody thought they were illegal in any way and indeed are not illegal in any way if operated correctly? Is it as simple as that?

SR There is nothing wrong with ebts when used correctly and ebts are a way of providing benefits to employees and if managed in a correct manner are perfectly legitimate. I think that the issue that we know is under investigation at the moment by both HMRC as part of the large tax case and the SPL as part of their own investigation into potential no disclosure of side letters is whether or not there has been any wrong doing and I think the issue at hand is that wrongdoing or potential wrongdoing has been discussed with HMRC for some time for several years in fact so we would not get involved in anything that there is no wrongdoing   taking place and ebts are, as I said, a legitimate way of doing business when used correctly.

Again taking the “givens” into account, particularly the significant event of Sherriff Officers calling to collect unpaid tax in August 2011 and the logical deduction that the SFA President must have known of the difference between the two types of ebts Rangers used, (and perhaps why they were changed) why the insistence at this point that all the ebts used by Rangers had been used correctly? Mr Regan at the time of the interview was either kept in the dark by his President, given he claims to have spoken to no one about the independence of the enquiry, or being economical with the truth.

The whole of Lord Nimmo Smith’s judgement made months after this interview, where Mr Regan stressed again and again there is no wrongdoing in the use of ebts if arranged correctly (or lawfully) is predicated on all ebts with side letters used by Rangers since 23 November 2011 actually being used correctly and in Lord Nimmo Smiths words on being “themselves not irregular”. (Para 5 of Annex 1). It is almost as if Mr Regan knew the outcome before Lord Nimmo Smith.

(In fact the ebt to Tor Andre Flo had a side letter dated 23 November and it related to a tax arrangement that had not been used correctly (using Regan’s own words) The irregular ebt for Ronald De Boer with a side letter of 30 August was placed beyond the scope of the Commission because in spite of it meeting the criteria specified by Harper MacLeod in March 2012 asking to be provided with ALL ebts and side letters and any other related documentation from July 1998 to date (including the HMRC letter of Feb 2011 that fully demonstrated that those particular ebts under  the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust (REBT) were not used correctly) and so were unlawful, NONE  of that documentation was  provided when requested.

This enabled Lord Nimmo Smith to state in para 107 of his Decision “while there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate” which is a statement he could not have made had he had all the requested documentation denied to him either by dishonesty or negligence during the preparation of his Commission.

How would he have had to judge one wonders if deception and dishonesty was indeed the factor we now ken that it is?

 

What exactly were the consequences of the failure to provide Lord Nimmo Smith with the required documentation?

It is stated in the Decision (Annex 1 para 104) that the Inquiry proceeded on the basis that the EBT arrangements (by which it meant the MGMRT ebts) were “lawful”. As it transpired the outcome of the FTT decision announced in November 2012 was that the MGMRT ebts indeed were (although this is still under appeal by HMRC.)

However, because Lord Nimmo Smith treated the MGMRT and the Earlier Trust (REBT) as one and the same, (para 35 of Decision) this meant that the Inquiry failed to distinguish between the two trusts and necessarily treated the Earlier Trust as also being lawful (without however having properly investigated its operation). However, the MGMRT and the earlier REBT were two separate trusts and there was no necessary reason to treat them as one and the same. Had evidence relating to the REBT been produced and examined, the Inquiry could hardly have treated them) as “continuous” or allowed Lord Nimmo Smith to say “we are not aware that they were different trusts“(Annex 1 para 35)

From the Decision (Annex 1 para 40), it would appear that the President of the SFA gave evidence only as to his knowledge of the MGMRT (not the REBT). We know now that the President of the SFA had knowledge of the Earlier Trust (sitting on the RFC remuneration policy committee that agreed to their use in 1999 and indeed was active in its setting up). Why the President failed to volunteer such crucial information is surely something he should now be asked?

By the time of the Inquiry, Rangers FC had already conceded liability in what has become known as “the Wee Tax Case” (which related to the now unlawful REBTs). Having regard to the wording at para 104 of the Decision (that is an echo of what Regan stressed to Alex Thomson about ebts) where it is said that to arrange financial affairs in a manner “within the law” is not a breach of the SFA/SPL Rules) the clear implication, must be that to arrange financial affairs in such a way that they are not lawful, must be a breach of the rules.

Given the admission of liability in the Wee Tax Case, payments made in respect of the REBT could not be “lawful” (to employ the language used in the Decision) or disputed, but Mr Regan presumably did not enquire too much into the history of the wee tax case before agreeing to talk to Alex Thomson.

It will be obvious from the above that the unlawful nature of REBTs had been masked from SPL lawyers and Lord Nimmo Smith as a result of:-

(a) the failure by the Administrators of Rangers FC to provide the documentation required of them;

(b) the failure of the President of the SFA to provide to the Inquiry his own knowledge of, involvement in, and presumably as a result of it, an appreciation of the differences between the two types of ebts and the consequences thereof for the investigation.  

Had the REBT been the sole subject of the Inquiry (rather than in effect not being examined at all) the following must have been different:-

(i)            the President could hardly have failed to give testimony of his knowledge and involvement;

(ii)          the Inquiry could not have held that the use of the REBT ebts was lawful;

(iv)       the “no sporting advantage” decision given in respect of the lawful ebts could not have been applied to unlawful ebts.

The real issue in the case of the unlawful ebts was not one of misregistration (Annex 1 para 104) which in turn justified the no sporting advantage decision in paras 105/106 but of paying players by an unlawful means which “constitutes such a fundamental defect (Annex 1 para 88) that the registration of players paid this way (i.e. unlawfully) must be treated as having been invalid from the outset.

Had the true nature of these early ebts been known to SPL lawyers the Terms of Reference of the Investigation would have to have addressed the wrong doing that Mr Regan was so keen to argue with Alex Thomson had not actually occurred (long before Lord Nimmo Smith agreed with him) or had President Ogilvie made the distinction in his testimony, it would have been impossible for Sandy Bryson’s to advise as he did regarding the effect on eligibility. He would have to have been asked questions about two types of ebts not one. Finally Lord Nimmo Smith could not have treated both as continuous.

Finally, given this incidence of non-disclosure by the Rangers Administrators (an identifiable trait of RFC dealings with authority from August 2000 to date), it is impossible to see how paragraph 107 (wherein it is stated that there is “no question of dishonesty”) can be allowed to remain unchallenged.

Of course the failure to supply the key evidence could just be an oversight given Rangers Administrators were hardly likely to have established of their own volition the importance of the documents to the enquiry and yet, had they been supplied, the enquiry could not have been based on the defence Stewart Regan was at such pains to stress in his interview with Alex Thomson at a time only 3 months after Mr Regan and Campbell Ogilvie had joined Craig Whyte for dinner as a result of an invite prompted by questions on the SFA UEFA Licence handling of the wee tax case , created by the very same unlawful ebts.

AT But as the governing body why did you not say to Rangers “look guys this this smells really bad, this looks bad you look (and you have admitted you have not paid your tax) you know we can’t do this, we have got to be open and above board, it looks bad.

SR Well think you need to look at what is legal and above board. At the time the club, were in dispute with HMRC. There was a tax case ongoing the new owner was in discussion with HMRC. In fact he has made comments and the club have made comments to that effect and because the amount was not crystallised under UEFA guidelines, whilst ever it’s in dispute it’s not classed as overdue.

AT Sometimes

SR So you need to separate out the licensing requirement, which is what the Licensing Committee did, from the tax that was owed to HMRC which is as we know what is still ongoing.

Mr Regan was not being accurate here.  The Big Tax case was in dispute and the bill has not crystallised as a result. However the wee tax case crystallised in mid June 2011 and at 30th June 2011, the UEFA licence checkpoint under Article 66 of UEFA FFP, did not meet the conditions to excuse it as being an overdue payable to HMRC. Quite how the SFA handled the processing of the Article 66 submission from RFC is subject to a resolution asking UEFA to investigate put to the Celtic AGM in November 2013 which is still in progress. As has been mentioned twice before Mr Regan has either been kept in the dark or was being less than honest with Alex Thomson. Interestingly Andrew Dickson who has been at Rangers in various administration and executive capacity since 1991 sat on 3 of the four UEFA Licensing Committee meetings during 2011. He may of course have excused himself from any discussions on this matter as the rules allowed, but was a full explanation why he did so, if indeed he did, offered? Would such an explanation have enlightened Mr Regan of what he was dealing with?

AT Sometimes things can be within the rules but from a PR point of view, indeed from a moral point of view, hate to introduce morality to football but can be the wrong thing to do. You would accept that?

SR Well I think that football around the world is going through a difficult time, clubs are in difficult financial circumstances, not just in Scotland, you look down into England and look at the clubs in Administration at the moment. You know Portsmouth and Port Vale in recent times and I think Plymouth is as well again. As far as that is concerned you know that indicates that clubs are living from hand to mouth and there are deals being done all the time with HMRC, payment plans being agreed. There is huge amounts of debt in football.

AT I’m just inviting you to accept that sometimes things can be within the rules but just look bad because morally, they are bad.

ST I think when taxes aren’t paid ehm VAT in particular, National Insurance Contributions of course that’s bad and I think we accept that and we know that in the current regime there is evidence to suggest that Rangers has not paid its taxes since Mr Whyte took over the club. That’s wrong that is against the spirit of the game and certainly we would look to deal with that and stamp out that type of behaviour which is not acting with integrity.

If Carlsberg did irony!

End of Interview.

The Hard Not to Believe Conclusions

There is always the danger in examining anything of finding what you want to be there rather than what is there and it is a danger any writer has to be aware of, but given the responses from Harper MacLeod on TSFM and the total lack of response from the SPFL and SFA when being informed of the missing evidence along with what has been written here it is hard not to conclude that the Lord Nimmo Smith Inquiry was deliberately set up in such a way as to produce two results

  • The minimising of the wrongful behaviour that had taken place from 1999 to 2012 when The Commission sat
  • The avoidance of the consequences of admitting that serious wrongdoing in the form of illegal payments had been made via irregular EBTs, which consequently made the players involved ineligible from the outset, making the Bryson ruling inapplicable in those cases with the consequences of that ineligibility on trophies and remuneration won.

The reader will find it hard not to conclude that either

  • there was a huge screw up by the SPL lawyers charged to set up the Commission which they might be able to defend
  • or
  • Vital knowledge was concealed within the SFA itself in order to achieve the above two results and
  • This knowledge was deliberately concealed because had it not been The Inquiry could not have come to the conclusion it did on player eligibility, not only because unlawful ebts were used in early instances, but also because the deliberate concealment from HMRC of the side letters to De Boer and Flo, the former also kept from Harper and MacLeod, suggests Rangers knew all along and in 2005 in particular that what they were doing since 2000 was morally wrong and against the spirit of the game. It perhaps also explains why HMRC is determined to push an appeal all the way.
  • This failure to supply all documents meant that the line being taken by Mr Regan in March 2012, when the Commission was being set up into the use of ebts and failure to register them with the SFA, came to fulfilment in the Decision of Lord Nimmo Smith himself, achieving the two aims suggested above.

Given that Harper MacLeod have said they passed on to the SFA in September 2014 the evidence kept from them by Rangers Administrators, has Stewart Regan spoken to either Ogilvie or Dickson since then about keeping him in the dark? Or did he know all along?

Of course these hard to believe conclusions could be discounted as delusional ramblings if either the SFA or SPFL were to say they would investigate the evidence kept from Harper MacLeod. It would also help if only one of the thirteen main stream journalists would look at the hard copy of the concealed documents they were provided with, because until someone who values sporting integrity does, the stench of corruption will hang over Scottish football for years to reek out anytime the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission is used as a justification for anything that it contains.

Annex One – Extracts from Lord Nimmo Smith Decision

[5] Although the payments in this case were not themselves irregular and were not in

breach of SPL or SFA Rules, the scale and extent of the proven contraventions of the disclosure rules require a substantial penalty to be imposed;

 

Outline of the Scheme

 

[35] As we have said, a controlling interest in Oldco was held by David Murray through the medium of Murray MHL Limited, part of the Murray Group of companies. Murray Group Management Limited (MGM) provided management services to the companies of the Murray Group. By deed dated 20 April 2001 MGM set up the Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust (the MGMRT). (We note that the MGMRT was preceded by the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust, but we are not aware that they were different trusts. We shall treat them as a continuous trust, which we shall refer to throughout as the MGMRT.)

 

[40] Mr Ogilvie learnt about the existence of the MGMRT in about 2001 or 2002, because a contribution was made for his benefit. He understood that this was non-contractual. Although as a result he knew about the existence of the MGMRT, he did not know any details of it. He subsequently became aware, while he remained director of Oldco, that contributions were being made to the MGMRT in respect of players. He assumed that these were made in respect of the players’ playing football, which was the primary function for which they were employed and remunerated. He had no involvement in the organisation or management of Oldco’s contributions to the MGMRT, whether for players or otherwise. He said:

“I assumed that all contributions to the Trust were being made legally, and that any relevant football regulations were being complied with. I do not recall contributions to the Trust being discussed in any detail, if at all, at Board meetings. In any event, Board meetings had become less and less frequent by my later years at Rangers.”

He also said: “Nothing to do with the contributions being made to the Trust fell within the scope of my remit at Rangers”.

However it should be noted that Mr Ogilvie was a member of the board of directors who approved the statutory accounts of Oldco which disclosed very substantial payments made under the EBT arrangements.

 

[88] In our opinion, this was a correct decision by Mr McKenzie. There is every reason why the rules of the SFA and the SPL relating to registration should be construed and applied consistently with each other. Mr Bryson’s evidence about the position of the SFA in this regard was clear. In our view, the Rules of the SPL, which admit of a construction consistent with those of the SFA, should be given that construction. All parties’ concerned – clubs, players and footballing authorities – should be able to proceed on the faith of an official register. This means that a player’s registration should generally be treated as standing unless and until revoked. There may be extreme cases in which there is such a fundamental defect that the registration of a player must be treated as having been invalid from the outset. But in the kind of situation that we are dealing with here we are satisfied that the registration of the Specified Players with the SPL was valid from the outset, and accordingly that they were eligible to play in official matches. There was therefore no breach of SPL Rule D1.11.

 

[104] As we have already explained, in our view the purpose of the Rules applicable to Issues 1 to 3 is to promote the sporting integrity of the game. These rules are not designed as any form of financial regulation of football, analogous to the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations. Thus it is not the purpose of the Rules to regulate how one football club may seek to gain financial and sporting advantage over others. Obviously, a successful club is able to generate more income from gate money, sponsorship, advertising, sale of branded goods and so on, and is consequently able to offer greater financial rewards to its manager and players, in the hope of even more success. Nor is it a breach of SPL or SFA Rules for a club to arrange its affairs – within the law – so as to minimise its tax liabilities. The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldco was acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme. The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal and Mr McKenzie stated expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC. Accordingly we proceed on the basis that the EBT arrangements were lawful. What we are concerned with is the fact that the side-letters issued to the Specified Players, in the course of the operation of the EBT scheme, were not disclosed to the SPL and the SFA as required by their respective Rules.

[105] It seems appropriate in the first place to consider whether such breach by non-disclosure conferred any competitive advantage on Rangers FC. Given that we have held that Rangers FC did not breach Rule D1.11 by playing ineligible players, it did not secure any direct competitive advantage in that respect. If the breach of the rules by non-disclosure of the side-letters conferred any competitive advantage, that could only have been an indirect one. Although it is clear to us from Mr Odam’s evidence that Oldco’s failure to disclose the side-letters to the SPL and the SFA was at least partly motivated by a wish not to risk prejudicing the tax advantages of the EBT scheme, we are unable to reach the conclusion that this led to any competitive advantage. There was no evidence before us as to whether any other members of the SPL used similar EBT schemes, or the effect of their doing so. Moreover, we have received no evidence from which we could possibly say that Oldco could not or would not have entered into the EBT arrangements with players if it had been required to comply with the requirement to disclose the arrangements as part of the players’ full financial entitlement or as giving rise to payment to players. It is entirely possible that the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed to the SPL and SFA without prejudicing the argument – accepted by the majority of the Tax Tribunal at paragraph 232 of their decision – that such arrangements, resulting in loans made to the players, did not give rise to payments absolutely or unreservedly held for or to the order of the individual players. On that basis, the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed as contractual arrangements giving rise to a facility for the player to receive loans, and there would have been no breach of the disclosure rules.

[106] We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure did not give rise to any sporting advantage, direct or indirect. We do not therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature.

[107] We nevertheless take a serious view of a breach of rules intended to promote sporting integrity. Greater financial transparency serves to prevent financial irregularities. There is insufficient evidence before us to enable us to draw any conclusion as to exactly how the senior management of Oldco came to the conclusion that the EBT arrangements did not require to be disclosed to the SPL or the SFA. In our view, the apparent assumption both that the side-letter arrangements were entirely discretionary, and that they did not form part of any player’s contractual entitlement, was seriously misconceived. Over the years, the EBT payments disclosed in Oldco’s accounts were very substantial; at their height, during the year to 30 June 2006, they amounted to more than £9 million, against £16.7 million being that year’s figure for wages and salaries. There is no evidence that the Board of Directors of Oldco took any steps to obtain proper external legal or accountancy advice to the Board as to the risks inherent in agreeing to pay players through the EBT arrangements without disclosure to the football authorities. The directors of Oldco must bear a heavy responsibility for this. While there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate, we nevertheless take the view that the nondisclosure must be regarded as deliberate, in the sense that a decision was taken that the side letters need not be or should not be disclosed. No steps were taken to check, even on a hypothetical basis, the validity of that assumption with the SPL or the SFA. The evidence of Mr Odam (cited at paragraph [43] above) clearly indicates a view amongst the management of Oldco that it might have been detrimental to the desired tax treatment of the payments being made by Oldco to have disclosed the existence of the side-letters to the football authorities.

Auldheid  Feb 2015

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Auldheid author

Celtic fan from Glasgow living mostly in Spain. A contributor to several websites, discussion groups and blogs, and a member of the Resolution 12 Celtic shareholders' group. Committed to sporting integrity, good governance, and the idea that football is interdependent. We all need each other in the game.

5,190 Comments so far

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Madbhoy24941Posted on9:18 am - Apr 22, 2015


I am maybe a Little bit late with input to the analysis of Sunday’s SC semi-final but sometimes it is better late than never.

I have to say, I was furious on Sunday and I am still angry and confused about some of the incidents during the game.

1. THE PITCH:
Why do we continue to have problems with the pitch at Hampden, I have heard many talk about how it was the same for both teams. Yes it was, and both teams had problems! Talk all you want about studs but both of these teams play on pitches that are subject to the same conditions week in week out but we only see this when playing at Hampden, this is the common denominator, not the boots.

2. THE OFFICALS:
How much longer should we have these conversations? If this was my work or even at home and I had the same conversations repeatedly about issues seen during the course of the day…I would do something about it. Just because these things have happened since the game was invented, this does not make it acceptable. There were two clear incidents that did not require TV evidence, in both cases; nobody appears to have seen anything. At the cost per game for these officials, that is unacceptable. Why do the officials not explain all decisions? During the game I can see them explaining to some players why they made a specific decision, why is it then that both captains were waved away with no explanation given to the two most important decisions in that game?
3. THE PERFORMANCES:
CFC – Many players unable to make short passes. Punting long balls to the shortest player on the park. Perceived injustice negatively affected the mood of the players as they came out for the 2nd half. Took too long to make tactical changes. Made incorrect personnel changes and at wrong time.
ICT – Brave, Committed, Fair, Played as team, took the chances, defended brilliantly.

So yes, at the time I was pissed off with the pitch and the officials as both spoiled the game and have most likely, affected course of the game (if not, the result). But I was and am still, more disappointed in the performance of the players and management team of Celtic.

Congratulations ICT, you played fair and deserved the win. I hope Falkirk raise the bar in May and we see two teams competing in a great spectacle.

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Jungle JimPosted on9:19 am - Apr 22, 2015


I think Bryce Curdy is saying what a lot of us have been thinking about Phil’s stuff. It’s becoming increasingly repetitive and generally inaccurate yet his musings are often treated as facts on here.

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SmugasPosted on9:21 am - Apr 22, 2015


I’m conscious that the new improved cuddly SFM has asked us to desist on the ref bit which is correct. I think Matty raises a different and valid point. Meekings suspension is almost being offered as an appeasement (perfect word in fact) regardless of the circumstances. That CFC lost out is correct, that they were unlucky is correct and that they have every right to feel aggrieved is all perfectly correct. But in this specific case of an involuntary reaction in Meeking’s arm leading to the blocking of a goal, I simply don’t feel that to make Meekings miss out on the final is the correct course of actions. The biggest fault-line in the matter was not his.

And since I’m probably headed for the naughty step anyway, could I offer a comment on the new brand image. I am no expert in the matter but particularly with regards to the colours chosen, there’s a couple in there I would have avoided! And if anyone thinks I’m being petty and churlish, which I probably am, ask yourself the question, would you have included one without the other?

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SmugasPosted on9:29 am - Apr 22, 2015


Madbhoy,

The pitch. Insist on playing two games on the same pitch in two days in April in Scotland and you will always get the same problem. It actually amuses me slightly when the supposed big showpiece game is shifted to the sunday for tv purposes when this is the obvious result. That’s not to say that the hampden pitch is in any way perfect otherwise mind!

The officials (sorry sfm, but its a different point I promise 😈 ) Here is the perfect example of a big game, big decision where reference to the live tv feed (with no additional expenditure) would have given the ref the correct decision within, what, 2 seconds? In fact you would actually save money because you could do away with the officials on the goal line nonsense which clearly just doesn’t work.

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Matty Roth

Matty RothPosted on9:54 am - Apr 22, 2015


Madbhoy24941 says:
April 22, 2015 at 9:18 am

==============================

You make some good point MB.

The pitch was appaling and it just goes to show IMO the folly of the SFA continuing the Hampden myth. Its time to let it go, we simply do not need a “national” stadium.

I also wholeheartedly agree on the question of when and how referees explain their decisions. Why can’t this be standard practice as it is in Rugby, with referee’s miked for audio and expected to explain key decisions to the teams as the game goes on.

They should also be free to talk about any incidents after the game and surely some sensible way for them to offer an explanation to the public can be put in place without Referees feeling under siege from journo’s or angry managers or whatever.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:14 am - Apr 22, 2015


Smugas says:
April 22, 2015 at 9:21 am

On the design question I’m with you because it’s dated. However TSFM did say he was looking for input. Creating a new brand comlete with crests etc is a highly skilled operation and also very expensive.

Although sometimes you get lucky with a wee bit of inspiration that costs nothing for a design. But it has to be ‘modern’ and forward looking to suit a blog that attempts to break the mould and replace it with something better.

As you indicated we have to get away from tramline thinking that maybe even subconsciously ensures that if you use one colour you have to use the other.

There’s a lot of colours out there and perhaps we should be thinking of a rainbow colour effect to represent the huge variety of fans rather than to symbolise club colours.

And any colour in the rainbow shouldn’t be the same pantone as that of any club.

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on10:44 am - Apr 22, 2015


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17672386

Regan emerges from the Hampden the bunker! Well on Twitter, anyway. He’s not quite up to personal appearances yet.

Where does Scottish football find these expensive jokers?

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on12:06 pm - Apr 22, 2015


On the Resolution 12 issue, from Brogan,Rogan,Trevino and Hogan on CQN. I have copied only the first part of the piece, relevant to the Res 12 issue.

http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/?p=17228&cpage=19#comment-2553762

Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma
10:15 on
22 April, 2015
Good Morning.

Two issues to dicuss and clarify ( at least a little ) quickly before heading out.

First Res 12.

Celtic PLC do not, and never have, owned control of Res 12 and its aims. The Board of the club originally thought the resolution was not necessary and they stated so publicly. They also stated why they reached that conclusion.

To be frank, that view changed once they had been informed and educated as to why certain shareholders thought that the resolution was necessary.

They were presented with information, and a purpose of mind if you like, which made them change their mind and for the first time EVER a motion from the floor of the AGM was adjourned so that everyone could consider what to do in terms of strategy.

A year later it was adjourned again, but this time because there was more information available and further matters to consider about just how the whole thing would proceed, and how the information could be used and presented in a way that was acceptable to, and agreed upon by, both the Celtic PLC board and the shareholders repreentatives concerned.

That has not been an easy process purely because you are dealing with information that has to be checked through, verified and an argument and a case built around its strongest and clearest points.

This has not been a process which has simply been undertaken by a small group of shareholders but also by various professionals who have given advice, guidance and opinion about the argument set out and the evidence which supports that argument.

Even getting to those advisers has been a slow and laborious process because of the huge range of conflicts of interest.

The SFA, SPFL, Rangers PLC, BDO, HMRC, newspapers and all the individuals, companies, investors and isntitutions you have ever thought about, heard of or connected with footballing events over the last 4 years all have their own lawyers and advisers. So finding “Independents” to check things through has been no easy task.

However, there is now a clear timeline of events, a body of evidence which goes with that timeline, and a detailed case to answer relating to certain, but not all, of the information that has been gathered.

The board of Celtic PLC are aware of all of this, have seen all of it, and have been appraised of all of it.

However, they were not presented with certain crucial details until last Friday morning. Until then they were in the dark about something that the shareholders concerned had been researching and verifying for months.

Phil’s article is not wholly acccurate.

There has been no letter to UEFA that I am aware of, and at this juncture had there been I would be both surprised and annoyed at to an extent.

No such letter should be going to UEFA without the consent of the shareholders who would want to have input as to the terms of reference.

Nor have Celtic PLC written to the SFA about these matters to my knowledge.

However the appropriate party at the SFA has been in discussions with representatives of Celtic PLC for months about the issues raised by Res 12, and those issues, their detail and a certain amount of evidence and argument is now with the SFA officer concerned for him to deal with.

Again, Celtic PLC know this and have discussed those details and the issues with him at a very recent meeting.

What happens next?

Wait and see. We all wait and see – although as I understand it it has been accepted that doing nothing is not an option.

However let me pose a question about timing and so on.

How do you change a long held culture within a business or organisation?

How do you bring about a change of view and practice in an organisation?

One answer is that you cut off its head – though that is only one answer.

Whose tenure of office is coming to an end? Who recently failed to gain a place on a UEFA committee? Who is due to be replaced?

I am speculating here but who would you want to replace and have a say on the type of person and the type of culture which would succeed any such person?

In unrelated chat, a well known poster on this and other forums described Res 12 to me in new terms just the other day.

” It’s a machete!” He said.

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SFMPosted on12:30 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Bryce,

I think you are playing the man here with respect to Phil.

It seems bizarre that we can contemplate linking to various media outlets without comment and yet we should desist from linking to a particular outlet where the record of accuracy is far greater.

Phil’s information on this subject is different to mine. I don’t see how me putting something into the public domain automatically disqualifies Phil’s earlier report. Although Phil is a member of the media fraternity (which makes him fair game for criticism), he is also a regular poster to this blog. As such, there is no need to refer to him in the third person when questioning him. You can address him directly, either here at his own site.

Let the mods take care of the information flow.

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SFMPosted on12:44 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Had some site problems (spam) this morning which has forced us to trim the user database. Apologies to anyone who has been affected, but any user who has never posted a comment has been deleted. This should not be an inconvenience to those who don’t post since there is no requirement to login in order to view content.

Security and legal guys have advised us to take the following course of action, which I will put in the FAQ;

1. Quarterly, a bulk delete of all users who have never had an approved comment.
2. Quarterly, a bulk delete of all users (including those with comments) who have not been logged in for a year.

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on12:45 pm - Apr 22, 2015


It seems rather petty to take issue with the colours incorporated in a new logo. Using the National tartan would remove any such issues. Incorporating an emblem of scrutiny such as a magnifying glass partially magnifying the “S” should help

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hangerheadPosted on12:57 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Does ‘approved’ comment mean only Thumbs Up, or could it be Thumbs Down?

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senior

seniorPosted on1:02 pm - Apr 22, 2015


And since I’m probably headed for the naughty step anyway, could I offer a comment on the new brand image. I am no expert in the matter but particularly with regards to the colours chosen, there’s a couple in there I would have avoided! And if anyone thinks I’m being petty and churlish, which I probably am, ask yourself the question, would you have included one without the other?
_____________________________________________

Please please SFM tell me the new moniker for the site is a temporary solution.
To say it is garish is to put it mildly.

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tykebhoy

tykebhoyPosted on1:05 pm - Apr 22, 2015


hangerhead says:
April 22, 2015 at 12:57 pm
================
Nothing to do with TU/TD. All users have to have a comment approved by the moderators to post further unmoderated comments. That first pre-moderated comment to be approved is what is being referred to. So basically it means anyone who has had one or more comments appear.

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SFMPosted on1:09 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Senior,
I’ll have you know that the logo incorporates a Thomson “T” panel football, as advertised in all programmes for matches at Hampden in the 60s.
Garish indeed.
Glad we are having the logo and colours debate though. Useful. 😕

I did ask for help on that one. Criticism of my limited design skills, whilst valid, is not what I had in mind. Offers of help were 🙂

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Long Time Lurker

Long Time LurkerPosted on1:14 pm - Apr 22, 2015


neepheid says:
April 22, 2015 at 12:06 pm
————————–
Thanks for posting.

I get the sense that the Board of Celtic PLC once they have assessed all of the evidence and understood the implications, will move to see that this matter is fully considered.

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on2:26 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Long Time Lurker says:
April 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm

I get the sense that the Board of Celtic PLC once they have assessed all of the evidence and understood the implications, will move to see that this matter is fully considered.

=========================

I found this bit interesting-

“However the appropriate party at the SFA has been in discussions with representatives of Celtic PLC for months about the issues raised by Res 12, and those issues, their detail and a certain amount of evidence and argument is now with the SFA officer concerned for him to deal with.”

I wonder which SFA officer they have been dealing with? Anyway, it does look as if the club is now taking this very seriously- and not before time, in my opinion.

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on2:36 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Since the human eye can easily pick up the three primary colours Red Yellow and Blue, then these tend to be the most used for graphics and in art.
However TV and PC Monitors tend to use RGB Red Green and Blue.
In the printing industry however they use the CMYK colour model (cyan, magenta, yellow, and k for “key” (black)

No need for Pantone colours, you can have any colour you like as long as it’s not black. 😀

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bluPosted on2:36 pm - Apr 22, 2015


neepheid says:
April 22, 2015 at 10:44 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17672386

Regan emerges from the Hampden the bunker! Well on Twitter, anyway. He’s not quite up to personal appearances yet.

Where does Scottish football find these expensive jokers?

Apologies if I’ve missed your point neepheid. Regan’s tweet, as reported, was crass but that link is to a BBC report of April 2012.

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ecobhoyPosted on2:41 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Corrupt official says:
April 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm

It seems rather petty to take issue with the colours incorporated in a new logo. Using the National tartan would remove any such issues. Incorporating an emblem of scrutiny such as a magnifying glass partially magnifying the “S” should help
———————————————–

Colours are often a very important element in any logo and, indeed, sometimes might be the most important element in terms of visibility and recognition.

I commented on the colours in respect to another poster also commenting on them. His comment – and I understood exactly where he was coming from and agreed – was it could be an issue. Had nothing to do with the actual colour but more the historical associations.

These are all issues that have to be recognised and taken into account when designing not just a logo but how that logo sits within the ‘brand’.

As to the tartan suggestion – there is a problem IMO. It’s basically one of the biggest problems is designing a successful logo.

The logo must be capable of being scaled-up or scaled-down from a billboard size to a letter heading or even thumnail.

Tartans don’t tend to be that great for that. there’s also another problem with tartans that if they are used as a ‘backdrop’ the busyness in most tartans tends to make it difficult to ‘float’ other things on top – whether it be words, letters, or symbols.

I was thinking of a rainbow effect to get round any adverse colour association.

But national symbolism might work although it IMO would need to be a Saltire perhaps in a football shape with a fisheye effect that might give a nod towards your magnifying glass.

Using a magnifying glass is IMO far too dated and tbh I’m afraid I see tartan in the same light even though it’s a modern invention.

I’ve been driving this morning and just trying to leave my mind open to any ideas. And I think it’s important to work out first if the brand is: Scottish Football Monitor.

‘Scottish Football’ is fine and indeed necessary I reckon.

But ‘Monitor’ seems too passive in the sense that it conveys more a sense of a watching role without any proactive action.

I think we need something which actually conveys a more active and interventionary approach. Fifty years ago I would have suggested ‘Examiner’ rather than ‘Monitor’ but it’s too old-fashioned.

I’m still thinking about whether there’s a better word. And then I keep wondering whether ‘Fans’ as a word should be in there as well?

‘Fans Monitoring Scottish Football’ is a bit clumpy because of ‘Monitoring’ but that’s the kind of thing I am pondering.

There’s nothing petty about constructive criticism as its only by bouncing ideas about that we might spark our creative juices and come-up with something worthwhile because we get knocked out of our creative comfort zone.

I’m trying not to look at this as just some way to make ‘SFM’ a nice looking logo because what is being talked about is creating a brand which goes way beyond simply designing a logo.

EDIT: ‘Scottish Football Fan Action’ is another thought. Could be wrapped around the ball with inset Saltire.

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wottpiPosted on2:42 pm - Apr 22, 2015


SFA making a erse of it again as usual.

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) – A Scottish FA ruling that is likely to see a player banned from the Scottish Cup final for a handball the referee missed is wrong and could set a dangerous precedent, FIFA’s referee chief Jim Boyce told Reuters on Wednesday.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender Josh Meekings handled the ball with the score at 1-0 during Sunday’s semi-final against Celtic which Inverness won 3-2 to reach the final for the first time.
Referee Steven McLean and his assistants all missed the incident, but the Scottish FA’s compliance officer Tony McGlennan issued a “notice of complaint” following an appeal by Celtic on Monday.
The Scottish FA offered Meekings and Inverness a one match ban to be served in the final, which the club have rejected. They have appealed against the notice and a hearing has been convened for Thursday.
However, Boyce, Britain’s FIFA vice-president and the head of FIFA’s refereeing committee, said he was totally opposed to the intervention by the compliance officer.
“This sets a very dangerous precedent, I am absolutely, 100 percent against the compliance officer becoming involved because the referee’s decision is final.
“It is a totally different matter if someone has gone over the top, or committed a serious foul, or head-butted someone and the referee has missed it.
“Those are disciplinary issues. But what happened here is that the referee has made a mistake regarding a handball and that’s the end of it. There is no way the player should now be disciplined for that.
“Whose to say it was even intentional? If the Scottish FA or their referees committee decide that they feel a serious mistake was made then they could take action in the future against that referee.
“I can understand why Celtic are annoyed because they felt they should have had a penalty kick, but these things happen at all levels of football every week.
“The only punishment, if any punishment at all is due, should be made if the Scottish FA feel the officials in charge of this game acted improperly and made the wrong decision.”
Asked about the incident, Meekings told Scottish TV: “It has come off my arm, I’ve said that.
“He (Celtic player Leigh Griffiths) was two yards away and I’ve gone to throw my body in the way and unfortunately it’s come off my hand but fortunately at the same time it hasn’t been given.”
The Scottish FA are claiming Meekings handled the ball deliberately. In a statement on Tuesday, Inverness said it was taking legal advice to present at the hearing.
Inverness will play Falkirk in the final at Hampden Park on May 30.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3050550/FIFA-boss-says-Scottish-FA-wrong-act-handball-case.html

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on2:45 pm - Apr 22, 2015


blu says:
April 22, 2015 at 2:36 pm
.
Apologies if I’ve missed your point neepheid. Regan’s tweet, as reported, was crass but that link is to a BBC report of April 2012.

++++++++++++++++++++++
You haven’t missed my point, I think it’s me who has lost the plot! Apologies to all.

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ecobhoyPosted on2:55 pm - Apr 22, 2015


neepheid says:
April 22, 2015 at 2:26 pm

I wonder which SFA officer they have been dealing with?
————————————————–
Bryson would seem to be the key man for something like this 😆

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Danish PastryPosted on3:04 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Matty Roth says:
April 22, 2015 at 9:07 am
———

Remember Matty, there’s the usual words and phrases they can parrot off: ‘discretion’, ‘it wasn’t known about at the time, therefore it wasn’t a handball’ or ‘on the balance of probabilities’.

Can’t see anything happening, well, apart from the offending player missing the final. If it was deliberate, he probably knew he would miss the final anyway.

My mind goes back the World Cup where Suarez stopped a certain goal with his hand and cheated an African side out of a deserved place in the next round. If there is to be action taken after the event a one-match ban isn’t really a punishment or deterrent for this form of cheating anyway, the reward for the offending team makes cheating worth it. It can put you right aff fitba, right aff.

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RaymacPosted on3:07 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Jim Boyce has talked the most sense so far. When he was at Cliftonville, he took on the sectarian element head on. However, was he there at the time of the “strike”? He retires this year (and CO, the Great Administrator, has been overlooked to succeed him–how sad!) A bit of a lesser man than Turnbull, but from the same cloth.

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John ClarkPosted on3:31 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Well, I do declare at 11.52 p.m Brisbane time!
For the last wee while , like since 9.00 p m, I could not sign in. Maybe something to do with SFM’s (or is it still TSFM?) legal/security post?
Been bursting to post,though.
In the words of what was historically the most dishonest man in the whole of human history,
‘what further proof do we need?’
Of the chaotic, totally dysfunctional bunch even in their deceitful practices, that our SFA officials have become.
‘Independent’ compliance officer charges a player -when 5 feckin officials see nothing!
Good God Almighty, have these ‘people’ lost their feckin reason as well as anything that might have passed for moral sense?
What in hell are they about?
Clever , corrupt, men we may reluctantly ‘admire’.
But we have surely reached rock bottom when we allow men who cannot even competently lie to us remain in office.
iatd

y

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SFMPosted on3:46 pm - Apr 22, 2015


In reference to the decision to carpet Josh Meekins, I think someone asked the question, “Are the SFA trying to ‘out-diddy’ the SPFL?”.

The ineptitude of Doncaster in the fixtures affair has been if anything trumped by this latest nonsensical reaction to the failure of match officials to perform acceptably in one of the great showpiece matches of the football season.

I think it fair to say, in a completely non-pejorative manner untainted by spin or bias, that the people who run the game in our country have absolutely no idea what they are doing, what they want to do, or how to achieve it.

The have plumbed truly spectacular depths in their effort to avoid doing anything at all correctly. In fact I would attest that the correct solution is often arrived at with less toil than the Heath Robinson constructs these poor feckless folk have cobbled together and called ‘a plan’.

Boyce’s two second reaction to the latest situation is a perfect example. If you punish anyone, punish the people who didn’t perform up to standard.

Thinking out loud here, but are we crediting them with too much intellect when we accuse them of corruption?

Serious question.

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wottpiPosted on4:02 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
April 22, 2015 at 3:04 pm

See these videos


(video is back to front for some reason)

The free kick that led to the Saurez handball was a bit dubious as the Ghanaian player seemed to fall of his own accord.

Therefore in my eyes it was a double cheat and the score reverted to that (1-1) before diving and handling offenses.

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John ClarkPosted on4:10 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Sfm says April 22nd 2015 @ 3.46.p.m GMT
‘..too much intellect when we accuse them of corruption…”
…………
In a word, no.
These guys act in a co- ordinated way that seems to indicate deliberate intent to lie.
They are ‘stupid’ only in that they believe that the rest of us are stupid, andd will believe their lies.
Their fundamental problem is that they hitched the future of Scottish Football on the, ultimately unsustainable, premise that the denial of sporting truth would somehow allow sporting truth to flourish.
They were profoundly mistaken.

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wottpiPosted on4:24 pm - Apr 22, 2015


SFM says:
April 22, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Exactly and that is why knee jerk reactions (from ruling bodies, clubs and fans) have no place in such matters.

The officials for whatever reason (and I maintain their positions meant that they were unable to conclusively judge it to be handball) didn’t award a penalty.

As I argued the game is the game whether it be a high profile cup tie or a meaningless mid table tie and the rules need to be the same.

Yes pull up players for dangerous play and thuggery as the health and safety of players is at stake but when you start looking at retrospectively applying penalties for handballs you open a can of worms.

How long before we see a ref missing a player on a yellow card handling the ball. Will the red card and suspension then be called for by compliance officers and the opposition. What comes after that? Asking that video evidence of bad tackles be taken into account to retrospectively give players a red or even a yellow card? Handy if you want a guy to miss the next game or a cup replay. Just imagine the fun that could have been had during all those Dundee Utd v Celtic clashes the other month.

It starts to takes the decision making and outcomes of matches, cup ties and leagues away from the field of play and that IMHO is a dangerous road to follow.

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on4:29 pm - Apr 22, 2015


ecobhoy says:

April 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Corrupt official says:
April 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm
I take on board your points, and tbh they were not points I fully considered, my main aim was to point out that whatever colours used, partisan “charges” could be “imagined”.
You also raise a valid point as to a name change, either partially or in entirety, which I think needs clarification from SFM if this is under consideration as a possibility.
I was having a wee look at logos and slogans while idling, when I came across this. Maybe “Scottish Fitba’ Slogan” would not be a bad idea for a name change. There cant be many Gaelic words have become internationally accepted for what they are.
http://www.wordcentral.com/cgi-bin/student?slogan

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on4:30 pm - Apr 22, 2015


SFM says:
April 22, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Thinking out loud here, but are we crediting them with too much intellect when we accuse them of corruption?

Serious question.
======================================
That is indeed a question to ponder.
Can they really be that thick ?
Or are they just acting thick to cover their own agendas ?

Thick or corrupt, we can all agree, shirley, that the fixtures and hand ball charge nonsense are further proof that both the SFA & the SPFL are seriously flawed organisations – from the top down.

Seems like they are currently in fire-fighting mode, but just reacting to events without thinking it through first.

Even the least informed, non-Internet Bampot fan can clearly see that both the SFA & SPFL have made serious cock-ups recently.

But it comes back to that old chestnut: the member clubs have to drive the change.

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y4rmyPosted on4:34 pm - Apr 22, 2015


See these videos


(video is back to front for some reason)

The free kick that led to the Saurez handball was a bit dubious as the Ghanaian player seemed to fall of his own accord.

Therefore in my eyes it was a double cheat and the score reverted to that (1-1) before diving and handling offences.

Not only that, but they guy coming off the line after the second header is offside long before Suarez’s handball. So you *could* argue the injustice was against Suarez. (Not sure I’d go quite that far though 😉 )

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Danish PastryPosted on5:25 pm - Apr 22, 2015


wottpi says:
April 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm
———–

Are you inferring a dive? Looks more like tripping over his own feet in the 119th minute. Exhaustion affects most sportsmen and women who are not doped. He claims for nothing. How many instances of refereeing blunders are there in all matches? How many went the opposite way in that match?

What we do know is, Suarez handled on the line, on purpose. That’s cheating. Implying that cheating is acceptable because of a mistake by the officials leaves us on very dodgy ground.

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Methilhill Stroller

Methilhill StrollerPosted on5:33 pm - Apr 22, 2015


I hope and pray that Jim Boyce’s message gets to the dunderheads at Hampden before the game in Scotland descends into more farce. As JC said above “They were profoundly mistaken” – were, are and probably forever will be!!!

I often wonder what it will take for all of the (sic 41) clubs to extract a digit and complain to the SFA and SPFL about the Meekins issue because it could happen to any one of them, even in forthcoming play-offs (Hibs, QoS, Arbroath, and others – looking at you!!!). The same can be said of the Championship play-off contenders vis-à-vis the Newcastle 5 so I completely agree with Stevie BC in that it is the member clubs who have to drive the change and NOW – not just when it matters to their team.

If the powers that be will not listen I am sure a chappie named Boyce in FIFA will lend an ear? It would be a disgrace for Meekins to miss the final because of dishonest and dreadful administration.

Perhaps this farce needs either DCK and others to drop the ball completely or, failing that, General Mike to pull the plug and then, just maybe, those in Hampden can focus on the betterment of Scottish Football as a whole – not just trying to protect their won incompetents and one club in particular.

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on5:39 pm - Apr 22, 2015


SFM says:
April 22, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Thinking out loud here, but are we crediting them with too much intellect when we accuse them of corruption?

Serious question.
________________________________________________________

Yip. Intellectually challenged or, to put it another way, ‘thick as shoite’.

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ChristyboyPosted on6:10 pm - Apr 22, 2015


How about SFR: Scottish Football Referee. That way we don’t have to get everything right and even deny that certain posts ever existed !!!!

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dukinfisgustedPosted on6:16 pm - Apr 22, 2015


SFM says: 3:46
Thinking out loud here, but are we crediting them with too much intellect when we accuse them of corruption ??
——————-

—————————–
They could tell you the square root of an orange but could’nt peel it.

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Danish PastryPosted on6:17 pm - Apr 22, 2015


SSB saying Gilligen (sp?) and Paul Murray meeting with Ashley representatives today 😮

Jings.

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cowanpete

cowanpetePosted on6:30 pm - Apr 22, 2015


I have refrained from posting up till now on the Handball affair.
I didn’t see it and frankly don’t need to.
I hope Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC take this threat of a ban to the highest court of the land and to UEFA.
If that causes the Cup Final to be delayed then so be it.

Allowing football authorities to get away with behaviour like this will kill the sport. Genuinely, if the SFA wins this, then where will it end?

ICT if you need crowdfunding to help towards your costs I’d gladly donate.

[for avoidance of doubt I’m a Hibs supporter from afar]

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ecobhoyPosted on6:39 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Christyboy says:
April 22, 2015 at 6:10 pm

How about SFR: Scottish Football Referee. That way we don’t have to get everything right and even deny that certain posts ever existed !!!!
————————————————-
Might be a wee bit cheeky. But what about ‘SFA’ for ‘Scottish Football Action’.

After all anything must be better than Scottish Football Apathy which currently infests Hampden 😆

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ecobhoyPosted on6:54 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Boyce was quoted on BBC TV News and finished with: ‘A decision has been made and that’s the end of it’.

Problem is with that is that my understanding is that no decision was made because no official saw anything.

I think it is a very dangerous route to go down but if Boyce thinks a decision was made how can we be sure what he would say if he knew the facts.

As I say not arguing one way or another on this but why oh why didn’t the BBC when they were speaking to him point out that a decision wasn’t taken at the time because no one saw it.

Can anybody do their job competently these days?

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alzipratuPosted on7:03 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Corrupt official says:
April 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

There cant be many Gaelic words have become internationally accepted for what they are.
******
Err, off top of my head…
Bard, Ben, Bog, cairn, capercaillie, clan, claymore, ceilidh, craig, galore, glen, gillie, gob, hubbub, kyle, loch, pet, pillion, plaid, ptarmigan, shanty, shindig, smashing, smidgen, sporran, spunk, trousers, whisky. And of course, that perennial favourite; brogue.

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ChristyboyPosted on7:04 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Echobhoy,aye that would fit 😉

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parttimearabPosted on7:07 pm - Apr 22, 2015


cowanpete says:
April 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm

for avoidance of doubt I’m a Hibs supporter from afar
====================================================
Gorgie ❓ 😛

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senior

seniorPosted on8:01 pm - Apr 22, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 22, 2015 at 2:55 pm
neepheid says:
April 22, 2015 at 2:26 pm

I wonder which SFA officer they have been dealing with?
————————————————–
Bryson would seem to be the key man for something like this 😆

Senior says:

Naw, naw far to early in the game to employ the Bryson reverse pass.
It’s a very ordinary pass mind, but when employed at the right time the results can be devastating!
———————–
Cowanpete @ 6.30

What a great idea and one that Celtic should take the lead on for obvious reasons.
I think all of Scottish football should get involved to prevent one of the greatest miscarriages of justice that our sport has ever witnessed.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on8:05 pm - Apr 22, 2015


how about IN THE NET with a fisheye effect (borrowed from ecobhoy )from the back of the net looking at the players on the pitch,or from the back of the net looking at an empty stadium.Only problem is it could be shortened to ITN 😯
Sorry if this is not the place to post suggestions for new logo

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alexander276Posted on8:22 pm - Apr 22, 2015


But what did they not see?

1. They were all looking elsewhere simultaneously and looked back to find Celtic players protesting…

2. They were watching the play but did not see the all strike an arm. They thought it probably hit the chest or face.

3, They were watching play and it was just chaotic. It might have hit arm but there was uncertainty.

4. They saw it strike an arm but the player was making a natural balancing movement and had no chance to avoid the ball.

Which option did they not see?

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on8:23 pm - Apr 22, 2015


SFFM – Scottish Football’s Fans’ Monitor
Logo – a football incorporated in the head of a thistle, with initials around it ?

(c) StevieBC, but willing to sell to highest bidder, including MASH.

[That’s as creative as it gets from a number cruncher ! 🙄 ]

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cowanpete

cowanpetePosted on8:29 pm - Apr 22, 2015


parttimearab says:
April 22, 2015 at 7:07 pm
for avoidance of doubt I’m a Hibs supporter from afar
====================================================
Gorgie?

Geneva actually but I can still SMELL Gorgie 🙂

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on8:41 pm - Apr 22, 2015


The Fifth Official? Logo: Mount Florida skyline in silhouette

I’ll get ma whistle :mrgreen:

EDIT
The most rabid Jambo I know, was born & bred in St Clair Street @ Cowanpete 😉

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JoeninhoPosted on8:42 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Can the new logo be a scroll design?

Make sure you get it registered as a trademark though!

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tamjartmarquezPosted on9:08 pm - Apr 22, 2015


Some thoughts on new logo SFM.

non tribal, representing all clubs.

Asking the questions the media won’t ask.

-No tartan please.

Monitor-bit passive??- – Watch dog keeping those that run the game ‘honest’.

–Don’t think rainbow quite works.

Pie and Bovril is a great image- for football fans but its sort of already been done!

Try and keep it modern, all inclusive, and representing internet bampots – ever watchful of the authorities and Scottish Sports journalists who only pass-on PR guff to keep the ‘readership’ happy.

Enquirer? Asking the questions that the media wont ask, but also disassembling the PR tosh they peddle.

A forum for discussion, and a platform for change – i actually like the broken crest being resurrected reverse traffic light style.

SFMs initial post immediately after the semi result was very fair,and clairvoyant of what was to follow, most that followed has been non sfm-esque and, dare i say it rinsed, in entitlement.

Perhaps a Monitor Lizard in a hooped shirt with Mr Magoo green tinted glasses may work, 😆 👿 in response to some of the unbelievable pash posted since the weekend.

oh to see oursels as others see us?

Fully behind res 12, keep at it.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on9:42 pm - Apr 22, 2015


John Brown urges the SFA to pass Dave King as fit and proper as he insists: Rangers need his money…

The former Ibrox defender said: “Dave has got Rangers at heart. He’s got money to put into the club – Rangers need that money…”

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/john-brown-urges-sfa-pass-5565089
===============================================================

So there you go: King must be declared ‘fit & proper’ because TRFC needs his money.

If King was really honest about his intentions, 🙄 , you would think that he could have deposited several millions in an escrow account as tangible proof of the ‘investment’ he is prepared to make in TRFC – just as soon as the SFA give him the all clear.

But King wants everyone at the SFA to look the other way for his benefit – but only based on his empty promises ?

…oh, and a ringing endorsement from Bomber…

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on10:22 pm - Apr 22, 2015


cowanpete says:
April 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm

_________________________________________________

Very generous offer.
Worry not however: the club has made the following statement:

(Which amounts to a dignified “We are not going to ask anyone else to put their hand in their pockets over this nonsense.
And Any money sent in (unsolicited) will be ringfenced for Community support activities instead.”)

__________________________________________

“Inverness Caledonian Thistle has been overwhelmed by the number of online messages, texts, emails, and calls from other football clubs and fans from all over the world during the past 24 hours in regards to Josh Meekings.

Unfortunately it will be impossible for us to reply to everyone in person, but Kenny Cameron (Club Chairman) and Josh thank you all for your impassioned support.

The club would also like to express its utmost appreciation for the generous financial donations which we are receiving.

it is not within this clubs make-up to place any burden of expectation on the fans for financial support in regards to matters such as this, so these funds will be ring-fenced and used to bolster and enhance the work undertaken by our Community Department”

http://ictfc.com/news/club-news/1526-thank-you

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redlichtiePosted on10:54 pm - Apr 22, 2015


OK, the logo.

Liked the old one, don’t like the new one.

Liked TSFM too.

Re the logo can we aspire to something above Primary Three level? (Sorry mods)

Whatever, surely it HAS to have five stars above it?

Scottish Football needs a right good reality check before announcing any more actions or arrangements. And a stronger Arbroath.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:26 am - Apr 23, 2015


‘Amicable’

I’m guessing those wholesome RRM taught that upstart Ashley a lesson.
He has recanted his past, now caught Rangersitis.
Buy shirts with confidence bears.
(Well that what I expect to read in the record)

What WILL NOT HAVE HAPPENED is MA telling the RRM politely what they had to do to avoid personally being sued out of existence while their club (and his retail deals) went up in smoke, and them saying ‘3 bags full sir’.
No siree.

And MA will not have said or intimidated ‘if you want to exist in June, this is how many shirts you need to sell in May’.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32425392#38;utm_medium=twitter

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FisianiPosted on5:55 am - Apr 23, 2015


I hear that ICT have decided to state that they will play Meekings in the starting 11 in the Cup Final and dare the SFA to award the final to Falkirk no matter the result. This is the nuclear option and one that will produce a backdown from the SFA before the final.

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John ClarkPosted on6:07 am - Apr 23, 2015


abigboydiditandranaway:
I have PMd you re pharmacist

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Danish PastryPosted on6:22 am - Apr 23, 2015


Raised voices on last night’s Sportsound. A bit shouty. ‘Rules!’ was the cry, ‘Football is about rules!’

Well, you have to laugh..,

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John ClarkPosted on6:30 am - Apr 23, 2015


Fisiani @ 5.55 a.m
………………

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upthehoopsPosted on7:20 am - Apr 23, 2015


So the meeting between Ashley and the Rangers Board is being described as ‘amicable’. Firstly there was never any chance of it being described as much else. Secondly there was never any chance of Chris McLaughlin digging any deeper than that. What was it really all about though? Do wages need paid, Rangers have no money, and due diligence is required to start drawing down the 2nd installment of Ashley’s £10M loan? No matter what it is we’ll get nothing other than sugar coated nonsense from the media about it.

I have to laugh because some time ago on BBC the much discussed (on here) Richard Wilson said Ashley better realise who he is dealing with, and their ‘importance to Scottish society’. I wonder how restless a night Ashley had last night once he saw first hand the tigers of business he is up against.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:23 am - Apr 23, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
April 23, 2015 at 6:22 am

Raised voices on last night’s Sportsound. A bit shouty. ‘Rules!’ was the cry, ‘Football is about rules!’

Well, you have to laugh..,
=================================

I suppose they’re right. Sticking to the rules…well that’s another matter!

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Danish PastryPosted on7:41 am - Apr 23, 2015


upthehoops says:
April 23, 2015 at 7:23 am

I suppose they’re right. Sticking to the rules…well that’s another matter!
————

Exactly, they’ve been bending so many that I’m not sure they even understand the concept of rules anymore.

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John ClarkPosted on7:47 am - Apr 23, 2015


Fisiani@5.55 a.m
‘ I hear that ICT…..’
…………………….
If what you hear is true,it must really be the end for the presently constituted SFA board.
They lost their moral compass some few years ago: now they have lost the plot entirely,putting themselves in total disarray.

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Kilgore TroutPosted on8:01 am - Apr 23, 2015


Fisiani @ 5:55

Whatever ICT choose to do, I wish them good luck with it.
There is a concerted effort amongst the usual discredited parties in and around Scottish Football to make this al about ‘What Josh Did’ when,of course,it’s really all about what those parties have done since.

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cmontheshirePosted on8:34 am - Apr 23, 2015


Many years ago, whilst walking through Springburn at 1 am with two Glasgow Art School mates (all the while eating chips from paper!), we talked of the subtleties of colours used in advertising and graphics and what advantages they rendered in selling. These guys knew a thing or two but, as I was interested in statistics and graphical presentation and the neutralising of visual colour bias, I followed up with some research by consulting opticians and ophthalmologists on the matter.

The discussions and trials that they set up for me showed that the ‘geewhiz’ factors in graphs could be damped down or surpressed by the use of brown, maroon, yellow, cyan blue, black and white, as they presented visually as ‘flat’ but probably the last thing folk want when trying to emphasise or generate a little bias in presentation.

However, for seven decades I have been a dyed-in-the-wool, forbiddingly green-tinted, Celtic fan and find the colours of the SFM logo totally acceptable on our pages. The pages are rather anodyne in appearance anyway, with the print not always being sufficiently defined on any of the various computer screens I use in my house. Our print is a little ‘thin’.

The other day I was talking to an old miner in Barnsley who likes drawing on pavements in chalk to amuse his grandchildren. He is very skilled at it. One of the children asked him why he did it and he replied, ” There is no colour down a mine, son.” maybe a lesson for us all in that!

All slightly OT but maybe informative. Great to read we continue to fund the blog so well.

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on8:42 am - Apr 23, 2015


Fisiani says:
April 23, 2015 at 5:55 am

I hear that ICT have decided to state that they will play Meekings in the starting 11 in the Cup Final and dare the SFA to award the final to Falkirk no matter the result. This is the nuclear option and one that will produce a backdown from the SFA before the final.
=======================

That’s the way to do it. Up front and out in the open, no whispered conversations with the blazers in secret places, trying to pander to their overwhelming sense of self-importance.

If ICT actually have to go ahead with defying the SFA and play their “suspended” player, then I will break my one man boycott of Scottish football just for a day,and turn up at the final to provide my support for their head-on challenge to the scoundrels who are systematically destroying our game.

What is needed now is for those Championship clubs potentially affected by the “five loan agreement” to speak out clearly about the laughable SFA response to the Ashley dual interest situation.

Yesterday the Ibrox Board went to see Ashley, doubtless caps in hand and begging for cash. Maybe some more loan players as well, for all I know. Anyway the meeting was amicable- which I take to mean that the Ibrox contingent got a cup of tea and a digestive, while Ashley told them who’s really in control of matters at Ibrox.

I am surprised at the public silence on this issue so far from Hibs, for example. They need to follow the lead from ICT and make their concerns public. I reckon that cracks are finally starting to appear in the Hampden bunker. If enough clubs express well founded concerns in public, then we just might see the long-awaited clearout that the game so badly needs.

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ecobhoyPosted on8:49 am - Apr 23, 2015


tamjartmarquez says:
April 22, 2015 at 9:08 pm

I probably should have made my ‘rainbow’ suggestion clearer. It was more of a concept as in a ‘rainbow alliance’ representing a coalition of all clubs and supporters.

I Don’t have the creative skills to transform the concept into any kind of reality but just threw it out there in case it gelled with someone more artistic than myself.

‘Enquirer’ I think falls into the dated thing like ‘Examiner’ which I mentioned earlier and there are many examples from early print journalism.

Although my favourites have to be ‘Bugle’ and ‘Clarion’ 😆 I just think we have to go beyond: examining, enquiring and monitoring. We have to influence and change.

It’s right we analyse and collate but that isn’t enough – we have to use the info, our skills and commitment to change things that need to be changed or at least reach-out beyond the blog to others who can help by adding their weight and skills.

I think it would be wrong to attempt to create a one-stop-shop for all of Scottish Football. We need outposts or roots in every club fansite to reach all the other people who want and are attempting to bring change. Obviously a lot of issues are club-specific but there will be many that link to governance as well.

Obviously that all goes beyond designing a logo but is well within the discussions which surround the wider issues of a ‘Brand’ and its goals and aims and how to achieve them.

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redlichtiePosted on9:54 am - Apr 23, 2015


Re the Meekings incident…

Arbroath 1 Rangers 2 League Cup (15/08/1973)

With the scores level after a Derek Parlane goal on 83 minutes, a blatant handball by Joe Mason on the penalty spot allowed him to score on the 89 minute mark to make it 2-1.

Writing to the Compliance Officer later today……

Scottish Football has a long memory….

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valentinesclown

valentinesclownPosted on9:59 am - Apr 23, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
April 23, 2015 at 6:22 am
Raised voices on last night’s Sportsound. A bit shouty. ‘Rules!’ was the cry, ‘Football is about rules!’

Well, you have to laugh
————————————————

Fools I shout, football is governed by fools.
And it is no laughing matter

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tayred

tayredPosted on10:03 am - Apr 23, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 23, 2015 at 9:05 am

Amazing how two of the ‘smaller’ teams in football might change the game for ever – maybe small teams but with BIG Hearts ❗

—————————————————————–

I fear that if anything will cause the final crash of the tottering edifice it will have to be from a collective of the so-called “smaller” clubs. The big clubs, for reasons unknown, have through their complete silence shown that they believe they have too much to lose by raising their heads above the parapets. Had the will been there then the bigger clubs could have easily garnered the support to have sorted this sorry mess out long ago.

Exceptions of course exist, Dundee Utd have had the odd spat with TRFC especially, Hearts and Hibs have both made their points on isolated issues. Perhaps if some of the other bigger voices had made themselves heard in support some momentum could have been built. But my own club for example have done sod all, unwilling to even reply to many questions that I (and I know many others) have asked of them. Alas we get silence at best, at worst… complicity?

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jimmciPosted on10:05 am - Apr 23, 2015


As a Celtic supporter last Sunday I was furious about the non-award of a blatant, IMO, penalty but let’s be clear and as dispassionate as possible.
The ICT player probably reacted as 99 out of 100 players would have done. He acted instinctively and in so doing his actions his actions deprived Celtic of a goal.
However no player that I know of has ever awarded a penalty kick against his team or sent himself off.
The failure to do so and any disciplinary action thereafter should be with the officials and with them only. To ban the player from the final is absurd.
Celtic, correctly in my view,made public their letter of concern to the SFA. Given fan anger this was correct.
What I would now like Celtic to now, and prior to the compliance officer panel meeting today, is release another statement affirming their view that they are seeking clarification from the officials only and that they would not support action being taken against Meekings, regardless if how annoyed they may be by his actions.
That would call out the real villains of the piece; the officials and the utterly feckless SFA.
Well, we can but hope…….

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melbournedee

melbournedeePosted on10:08 am - Apr 23, 2015


I find myself posting a viewpoint that seems to be against the majority view:

I’m baffled by all the support on (T)SFM for ICT and Meekings.

A quick look at the SFA’s Judicial Panel Protocol for the current season includes the following relevant sections:

*****************************************************************************
9.4 Where a Complaint arises in consequence of a match official’s report(s) (including an
Excessive Misconduct Report), and that report is not submitted in accordance with
Annex C hereto, the Compliance Officer may contact the match official(s) in order for
the Compliance Officer to carry out his own investigations and decide whether such
a Notice of Complaint should be served on the Alleged Party in Breach. A Notice of
Complaint may be initiated by the Compliance Officer in respect of an incident which
would generally be the subject of a match official(s) report, by the service of a Notice
of Complaint, even though a match official has not reported the incident within the
timescale provided for.

13.4 Compliance Officer Reference to Fast Track Proceedings (a “CO Reference”)
13.4.1 The Compliance Officer may refer the following matters to Fast Track
Proceedings:
13.4.1.1 Alleged Sending-Off offences at a match (as defined in Section 3 of
Annex C hereto) not seen by match officials, which are brought to
the attention of the Compliance Officer by whatever means.

SECTION 3: SCHEDULE OF OFFENCES
Sending-Off Offences
A1 Serious Foul Play
A2 Violent Conduct
A3 Spitting at an Opponent or Any Other Person
A4 Denying the Opposing Team or an Opponent a goal or an Obvious Goal Scoring
Opportunity as Defined by Law 12
A5 Offensive, Insulting or Abusive Language and/or Gestures
A6 Receiving a Second Caution in the Same Match
**********************************************************************

These rules seem to confirm that the Compliance Officer is correct to investigate a sending-off offence that the referee has missed or has omitted from his match report. Those offences include denying an opponent a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

If the officials on Sunday had seen the handball and awarded the penalty and Meekings given his marching orders, he wouldn’t be playing in the final. To me, that would be justice – the Compliance Officer’s actions seem fair and reasonable.

If the culprit had been an Ian Black or a Lee McCulloch, I’m sure the tone on here would be somewhat different.

If Meeking’s does receive a suspension, I hope that ICT have the good grace to abide my the rules and not try to escalate the issue and turn the final into a farce.

The prospect of a ICT vs Falkirk final should be cherished by all of us who are Armageddon deniers.

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Gabby

GabbyPosted on10:19 am - Apr 23, 2015


Caley Thistle hae already changed the game forever. We were the ones responsible for abolishing the 10 000 seat stadia rule

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